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History of Wolves : Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize - Emily Fridlund

History of Wolves

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize

Paperback Published: 10th January 2017
ISBN: 9781474602952
Number Of Pages: 288

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Even a lone wolf wants to belong....

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in an ex-commune beside a lake in the beautiful, austere backwoods of northern Minnesota. The other girls at school call Linda 'Freak', or 'Commie'. Her parents mostly leave her to her own devices, whilst the other inhabitants have grown up and moved on.

So when the perfect family - mother, father and their little boy, Paul - move into the cabin across the lake, Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit. She begins to babysit Paul and feels welcomes, that she finally has a place to belong.

But something isn't right. Drawn into secrets she doesn't understand, Linda must make a choice. But how can a girl with no real knowledge of the world understand what the consequences will be?

About the Author

Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota. She holds an MFA from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her collection of stories, Catapult, was chosen by Ben Marcus for the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande Books. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York. History of Wolves is her first novel.

Review by Sarah McDuling

I found myself completely lost in this beautifully written and highly atmospheric debut novel. Set in Minnesota, The History of Wolves is part mystery, part coming-of-age, and a completely mesmerizing reading experience.

Living in the remnants of a former commune with her unconventional and largely negligent parents, Linda has always felt like an outsider. When she starts babysitting for a family she perceives as being “normal”, she finds herself becoming very attached to them. And yet, is everything really as normal as it seems?

The History of Wolves is both elegantly crafted and richly detailed. The characters are not always very likeable, but so complex and nuanced that they seem to leap right off the page and into real life.

Haunting and poetic, The History of Wolves has a way of slowly and inexorably pulling you deep down into the story. There is an otherworldly quality to the writing, giving everything a strange and eerie feeling. It is a book I will never forget and will doubtless want to read again.

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This novel is opaquely written and the story, though a simple enough one, was therefore quite hard to follow. The characters were described in an off-hand way which did not bring them to life. I was unable to like any of them and barely managed to finish the book.

Far North Coast

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History of Wolves

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So much is accomplished here, not least a kind of trust that this writer will make everything count, including the kind of data that is usually left for dead in a story. -- Ben Marcus, author of Leaving the Sea and The Flame Alphabet

So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth. -- Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

As exquisite a first novel as I've ever encountered. Poetic, complex and utterly, heartbreakingly beautiful -- TC Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

ISBN: 9781474602952
ISBN-10: 1474602959
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 10th January 2017
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.6 x 13.5  x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1

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